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Amherst College > Athletics > Men's Basketball > Williams Edges Tufts in NESCAC Semi
   
Ray Corrigan '05
Williams junior guard Michael Crotty (guarded by Tufts' Jim Wilson) dished out a game-high 10 asssists in the win.

Williams Survives Scare in NESCAC Men's Basketball Semifinals; Ephs Edge Tufts 64-63

March 1, 2003

AMHERST, MA - The third-ranked and second-seeded Williams College menís basketball team edged third-seeded Tufts University, 64-63, in the NESCAC Tournament Semifinals hosted by top-seeded Amherst College on Saturday. Junior forward Benjamin Coffin (Westford, MA) poured in a game-high 31 points to lead the Ephs, while senior guard Mike McGlynn (Medford, MA) paced the Jumbos with 15.

Tufts jumped out to an early 6-0 advantage before Williams countered with an 8-0 run, taking an 8-6 lead with 14:07 remaining in the opening half. The lead changed hands several times before Coffin hit a pair of jumpers, giving the Ephs a 33-27 advantage at halftime.

The lead grew to 11 when sophomore forward Tucker Kain (Waite Hill, ONT) knocked down a trifecta from the corner with 10:23 left to play. Tufts mounted a 10-0 run and cut the deficit to just one point when senior guard Brian Shapiro (Swampscott, MA) hit a breakaway lay-up. Shortly thereafter, Eph junior guard Michael Crotty (Belmont, MA) drilled a three-pointer from the top of the key to give Williams a 59-52 lead with 5:36 remaining.

Tufts closed the gap to 59-57 when McGlynn hit a pull-up trifecta with just over three minutes remaining. Coffin calmly sank a freethrow with 1:50 left to play, extending the lead to 64-58. Moments later, McGlynn was fouled while hoisting up a three-pointer. He knocked down all three freethrows before sophomore center Craig Coupe (Niskayuna, NY) spun into the paint and tickled the twine with 53 seconds remaining, cutting the lead to just one point, setting up an exciting finish.

McGlynn misfired on a runner with six seconds left and Coffin grabbed his game-high 14th rebound before being fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one and Shapiro pulled down the rebound before calling timeout. When play resumed the Jumbos inbounded the ball and were forced to travel the length of the floor. Senior guard Jim Wilson (Rockland, ME) threw up desperation heave from half-court that sailed past the basket as time expired.

With the victory, Williams improved to 25-1 overall and will meet Little Three foe Amherst College - who dealt the Ephs their lone loss earlier this season at Lefrak Gymnasium - Sunday at Noon in the NESCAC Tournament title game. The two-time defending champion Jeffs downed Wesleyan University, 87-73, in the other semifinal matchup. The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Sunday's championship game will be Webcast live on the Internet by www.D3hoops.com and by Amherst campus radio station WAMH at www.amherst.edu/sports.

Box Score / Play-by-Play